U.K. Flight Takes Off With No Security Screenings for First Time in 50 Years
No long TSA lines for these passengers.
As most travelers know, waiting in line and going through security screening at airports can feel like one of the most frustrating and tedious elements of travel.
Few people can deny the necessity of screening passengers for dangerous materials and weapons—except, perhaps, the leadership at a tiny airport in Campbeltown, Scotland.
Passengers at Campbeltown boarded a plane to Glasgow without any of the usual security checks Monday, making it the first such flight to have taken off in the U.K. in nearly 50 years, according to The Independent. (When the passengers landed in Glasgow, however, they were required to go through security screening there.)
The only security test of the 15-passenger aircraft before departure was an oral one, in which passengers were asked if they were carrying unlawful objects, including weapons or certain liquids.
The small town of Campbeltown is primarily known for its whisky and boasts some 34 distilleries.
Authorities from the airport insisted that the decision was safe and that the Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority had approved their decision. Other voices in the aviation community were skeptical of the move, however.
“The flight path into Glasgow is close to nuclear power facilities at Hunterston; the large oil terminal and facilities at Finnart on Loch Long and Ministry of Defense establishments at Coulport, Faslane and Glen Douglas,” said David Avery, a negotiator for the Prospect airport workers’ union, the Telegraph reported. “Lowering security at Highlands and Islands airports could make these sites, and the airports themselves, far more likely to be potential targets.”
The airport wasn’t the only one to opt out of security screenings, the Telegraph reported. Barra Airport and Tiree Airport, which are also operated by Highlands and Airports Limited (HIAL), instituted the same protocol. All three airports are located in Scotland, and their flight paths travel to nearby cities and towns in Scotland, according to their website.